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[25] the Federal army. About noon, however, information that it had recrossed the Potomac was received — we supposed in consequence of this movement of ours. It was really because some of General Patterson's best troops had just been taken from him.

In pursuance of my original design, the army marched toward Winchester, and bivouacked some three miles from the town, and on the 18th was disposed in camps in its immediate vicinity, on the Martinsburg front, except the cavalry, which was replaced in observation along the Potomac; its colonel had already won its full confidence, and mine.

In the night of the 18th Colonel Hill, then at Romney, detached Colonel Vaughn with two companies of his regiment (Third Tennessee), and two of the Thirteenth Virginia, to destroy the bridge of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad over New Creek. Colonel Vaughn learned, when near the bridge, that a small body of Federal troops-two hundred and fifty infantry and two field-pieces — was near it, on the other side of the Potomac. He crossed the river at sunrise in their presence,1 put them to flight, and captured their cannon and colors; the guns were found loaded, and spiked.

As it had become certain that no considerable body of United States troops was approaching from the west, Colonel Hill's detachment was called back to Winchester.

It being ascertained that some of the public property (rough gun-stocks) had been left at Harper's Ferry, Lieutenant-Colonel G. H. Stewart was sent with his Maryland Battalion to bring it away, which

1 Colonel Vaughn's official report to Colonel Hill.

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